By Chris Larue
Everyone has heard of yo-yo diets, and most of us have worked hard to lose weight for some event only to gain it back the moment the big day had passed. The reason this is so common is that our bodies naturally want to revert to a state of complacency. We are biologically pre-programmed to store up fats within our bodies just in case of a famine situation. And unless we work at it, we will always go back to gaining. In short, you need to start by accepting that maintaining a healthy weight is a lifelong process, one that you must find a way to embrace for…well, forever. So if you’re sick of rebound weight gain and you want to find a means of staying slim and healthy for life, here are a few tips to avoid reverting to form (literally).
1. Adopt a healthy diet. If your main problem is food-related (as in you eat too much or you consume the wrong types of food), you could end up with bigger problems than the number on the scale. Even those who are able to maintain a healthy weight can have heart problems if their cholesterol is too high (consuming 1,500 calories of fast food each day and then starving yourself the rest of the time is a no-no). So take the steps necessary to learn what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet and then work towards making it as ingrained as breathing.
2. Don’t be a Scrooge. The times when you fall off the wagon and hit rock bottom are often the result of deprivation. A good diet will allow you to have just about anything you want – in moderation. By eating balanced meals and exercising control over portion size, you should have no problem slipping in a treat now and then when you need it so that you don’t feel like you’ve given up everything you love (possibly leading to a binge).
3. Check your head. Did you know that the underlying reasons for weight gain are often ingrained in your psyche? By addressing the reasons you eat too much or neglect to exercise, you may have an easier time changing your bad habits. Talk to a nutrition specialist or therapist about your eating and exercise habits and see if you can determine triggers or past events that may contribute to your inability to keep the weight off. Once you pinpoint problem areas, you can begin to reverse the damage.
4. Find a workout that’s fun. Most people suffer from an inability to sustain a workout routine. When you’re motivated to lose (for a special event like a wedding or graduation) it’s easier to focus on your goal (especially since you have a solid deadline). The rest of the time, it can be difficult to justify the effort. But if you find an activity that you enjoy, whether it’s joining a sports league, frequenting a yoga class, or running your dog through the park, you’re going to be a lot more likely to maintain it as part of your routine.
5. Get the support you need. Sometimes a little encouragement can do a world of good. Think about joining a running club, pressing your friends into service for moral support (and a workout buddy), or signing up for a free online community (like Spark People) that offers tips, recipes, and exercise plans, as well as a lot of other people just like you who can give you advice and support to keep you on track.
About the Author:
Chris Larue writes for Fatty Weight Loss where you can find articles on health and nutrition in addition to information on safe weight loss and information on scientific weight loss.